WORK - Slack Technologies, Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
22.46
-0.51 (-2.22%)
At close: 4:00PM EST

22.25 -0.21 (-0.93%)
Pre-Market: 7:17AM EST

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close22.97
Open23.19
Bid0.00 x 800
Ask22.46 x 800
Day's Range22.17 - 23.24
52 Week Range19.53 - 42.00
Volume9,408,681
Avg. Volume9,046,501
Market Cap12.362B
Beta (5Y Monthly)N/A
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-1.77
Earnings DateDec 03, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est27.29
  • Masayoshi Son Is No Angel. He Might Want to Give It a Try
    Bloomberg

    Masayoshi Son Is No Angel. He Might Want to Give It a Try

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The reputation of Masayoshi Son, the world’s most prolific unicorn breeder, came crashing down last year with the collapse of WeWork. An 80% writedown on The We Co., and a 970 billion yen ($8.8 billion) loss at the SoftBank Vision Fund delivered some cold hard truths about his vulnerability.You might think that Son would have learned his lesson. Instead, he’s doubling down, with plans to start a $108 billion fund that's even bigger than the first. To win back investors’ confidence, though, the chairman of SoftBank Group Corp. might want to consider a different tack: becoming an angel.That’s not just a euphemism. Angel investing would take Son back to basics. Compared with the SoftBank Vision Fund, a SoftBank Angel Fund should be:Much smaller: $50 billion max. Write lighter checks: Nothing larger than $10 million.(1) Invest earlier: No later than Series A.This concept of smaller, lighter, earlier ought to become a mantra. But it takes guts — Son would have to rein in the swagger that comes with writing fat paychecks. Not that his habit of throwing billions at Southeast Asian startups isn’t bold; but when that business already has a product, traction, brand awareness and market leadership, then you can’t exactly call it brave — especially when it’s other people’s money.Angel investors take a punt on new companies at the earliest stages, often before a product has been fully developed or any revenue acquired. In the past, they were generally rich individuals who knew the founders and were parting with a relatively modest amount of cash to give young entrepreneurs a leg up. The average angel and seed deal size in the fourth quarter was $1.8 million, according to Crunchbase News. When Son entered the venture capital scene in 2016 with a $97 billion checkbook, this old-school model of investing — based on the careful assessment of a startup’s revenue, return and growth — was thrown out the window. Son’s Vision Fund tends to invest much later, in rounds such as Series E, F or even H. Son also wielded his giant fund to pick winners, and by extension nominate losers, in ways that defied logic. He offered WeWork founder Adam Neumann just 12 minutes to make his pitch, and then told him that his company wasn’t being crazy enough, New York Magazine reported last year. Neumann should aim to make WeWork ten times bigger than originally planned, the founder of the co-working space operator was told.WeWork was by no means an exception. Son muscled his way into a host of startups, often forcing founders to choose between playing for Team SoftBank or getting defeated by it. Consider online lending startup Social Finance Inc. Co-founder Mike Cagney told Bloomberg Businessweek that Son gave him a choice: Take SoftBank’s money, or watch it go to a competitor. (He took the deal.) In 2019 alone, SoftBank was an investor in four of the world’s five largest funding rounds, according to a report by CB Insights. The result was not only implosions like WeWork, but overvalued unicorns like Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. whose stocks have fallen since their IPOs. It also made many founders and investors wary of Son and his approach, which may be making it harder for him to cut deals.Masayoshi Son isn’t timid, to be sure. His reputation is built upon decades of courageous bets that netted him, his investors, and his founders billions of dollars. The most famous being Jack Ma and a little e-commerce company that became Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. But the past few years suggest he’s forgotten those roots as a supporter of scrappy young upstarts.Most recently, he’s reported to be offering up to $40 billion to help Indonesia build its new capital city. He’s already opted to join a steering committee that will oversee construction of the new metropolis on Borneo Island — 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) away from current capital Jakarta — alongside former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. While there’s something noble about offering advice to a developing nation as it grapples with congestion and flooding, it’s hard not to feel that Son is perhaps straying a bit far from his core mission. After all, he has his investors and staff to look after. Shifting to angel investing wouldn’t be entirely altruistic. This segment is the hottest sector of funding right now, according to data compiled by Crunchbase News. Whereas late-stage investing — the type the SoftBank Vision Fund specializes in — has declined over the past year, angel and early-stage investing is on the rise.Son prides himself on being a visionary, with a 100-year time horizon. That makes for good headlines and big numbers. But if he wants to secure his legacy, there’s nothing more honorable than being an angel.(1) Even $10 million is huge by some standards.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    A SoftBank Executive Defends the Vision Fund and Calls the Idea Behind WeWork ‘Very, Very Good’

    Speaking at a conference in Germany, a Vision Fund partner says that, as with any venture capital portfolio, “you get the bad news first.”

  • Bloomberg

    Airbnb Revamps Corporate Governance, Tying Bonuses to Safety

    (Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc. is laying the groundwork for a public market debut later this year, announcing a new corporate governance strategy that values safety, sustainability, diversity and accountability.The home-share startup has said it will track guest safety incidents, verify all seven million listings by December, measure its global carbon footprint and enhance employee diversity. To achieve its ambitions, Airbnb is creating a new Stakeholder Committee on the board and tying staff bonuses to safety metrics, according to a statement Friday.In addition, Airbnb has promised to be transparent, reporting progress at an upcoming Stakeholder Day that can be attended by guests, hosts, communities, employees and investors.“Building an enduringly successful business goes hand-in-hand with making a positive contribution to society,” the company said. “Increasingly, this is what citizens, consumers, employees, communities and policy makers desire -- even demand.”Airbnb has been on the defensive over safety since a mass shooting in October at a party house in Orinda, about 20 miles east of San Francisco, where five people died. Local media started to highlight the number of shootings at Airbnb rentals, and family of those slain questioned how the platform vets its guests. In December, the Wall Street Journal published an investigation showing how Airbnb employees who pushed for stricter safety measures, like requiring users to supply a government ID, were overruled by company executives who feared this could deter new guests or hosts.The company is also entangled in battles with cities around the country over regulations and has been accused of discrimination by hosts. With a $31 billion private valuation, Airbnb is poised to be one of the most high-profile market listings this year. Getting ahead of some of the concerns could help appease investors who may be wary of the unfriendly reception other tech titans, like Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. received last year.The new Stakeholder Committee will be led by Belinda Johnson, who is due to step down as chief operating officer and join the board in March. The company will also award $100 million in grants to support local projects that promote cultural heritage, economic vitality and sustainable communities and demonstrate clear local impact, according to the announcement.These new initiatives will be demanding on the company as it prepares to go public; verifying every listing by December means staff will have to work through tens of thousands of listings a day. But Airbnb says it’s just getting started.“When we first sat down to begin this work, we knew we were undertaking a difficult and serious task. We allowed ourselves to think about problems and opportunities that will take multiple teams working over multiple years to solve,” the company said. “We are nowhere near finished.”To contact the reporter on this story: Olivia Carville in New York at ocarville1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 6 Guru Stocks With Negative Performances
    GuruFocus.com

    6 Guru Stocks With Negative Performances

    Icahn Enterprises makes the list Continue reading...

  • Here are the top Bay Area Q4 venture exits in a record year
    American City Business Journals

    Here are the top Bay Area Q4 venture exits in a record year

    None of the biggest venture exits came during the fourth quarter despite a record total reported for the year in the U.S. Here is a look at the ones from the Bay Area that exited with a value of $100 million or more.

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: 'I really would love for the 2020s to be defined differently'
    Yahoo Finance

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: 'I really would love for the 2020s to be defined differently'

    Yahoo Finance speaks at length about the future of retail and the cloud business in an exclusive interview with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

  • Bloomberg

    SoftBank-Backed Oyo Firing Thousands Across China and India

    (Bloomberg) -- Oyo Hotels is firing thousands of staff across China and India, people familiar with the matter said, adding to growing signs of trouble at one of the largest startups in SoftBank Group Corp.’s portfolio.The company has let go of 5% of its 12,000 employees in China partly due to non-performance, while dismissing 12% of its 10,000 staff in India, one of the people said. It plans to shed another 1,200 in India over the next three to four months, the person added. Oyo is undergoing a restructuring, trimming redundancy in China and India, leading to thousands of dismissals, according to the people, who requested not to be named because they aren’t authorized to talk to media.“We continue to be one of the best places to work for and one of the key reasons for this has been our ability to consistently evaluate, reward and recognize the performance of individuals in a meritocratic manner, and enable them to improve their performance,” Oyo said in a statement.Oyo’s downsizing is another setback for Masayoshi Son‘s SoftBank, whose portfolio has been buffeted by recent trouble at WeWork and slumping share prices at Slack Technologies Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. The billionaire has called for greater financial discipline among the founders in his portfolio, spurring job cuts at smaller outfits such as Zume Pizza Inc. Other SoftBank investees, including Getaround, Wag Labs Inc., Fair and Brandless Inc., have had to cut staff or changed business models once it became apparent revenue and profits were not living up to their once-grand ambitions.Read more: SoftBank Vision Fund Employees Depict a Culture of RecklessnessAdding to Oyo’s challenges, hotel owners in China have been protesting in front of the company’s offices, accusing the startup of violating contractual agreements. The growing turmoil may complicate SoftBank’s efforts to raise a successor to the Vision Fund, the world’s largest pool of startup investments.Oyo will “enhance communications with hotel owners and develop owner loyalty” this year, the company said in the statement. “We will launch the VIP owner program, and contact owners regularly, to ensure that the interests and needs of theirs and ours are equally taken into account.”Son has been a keen supporter of Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal, helping fund the hotel company’s fast international expansion. Oyo had been growing at a rapid clip, but its reputation has suffered due to customer complaints about bad experiences along with grievances about poor or unfair treatment from several of the more than 20,000 hotel owners in its chain.“Oyo is one of SoftBank’s current crown jewels,” said Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at Shanghai-based consultancy AgencyChina. “Issues in China, Oyo’s largest market, continues the Vision Fund’s woes.” It would make raising a similar-sized second Vision Fund a challenge, he added.SoftBank’s Vision Fund has so far invested about $1.5 billion in Oyo, pushing its valuation to $10 billion. The company also counts Airbnb Inc., Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners as backers. It promoted its real estate business chief, Rohit Kapoor, to CEO for India and South Asia in December to shake up the business.In its aggressive effort to acquire market share, Oyo offered hotel stays for as cheap as $4 a night, according to one person familiar with its practices. The company also stocked up on rented room inventory by signing exclusive deals and guaranteeing income to hotel owners. It’s now allegedly reneging on those guarantees, the cause of the protests outside its Chinese offices, one person said.Read more: Ritesh Agarwal, the Amazingly Ambitious Hotelier(Updates with Oyo response starting in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at srai33@bloomberg.net;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Vlad Savov, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • How Did Slack Technologies Inc (WORK) Perform In Comparison to Hedge Fund Favorites in 2019?
    Insider Monkey

    How Did Slack Technologies Inc (WORK) Perform In Comparison to Hedge Fund Favorites in 2019?

    Hedge funds are known to underperform the bull markets but that's not because they are bad at investing. Truth be told, most hedge fund managers and other smaller players within this industry are very smart and skilled investors. Of course, they may also make wrong bets in some instances, but no one knows what the […]

  • Microsoft Pushes Cloud Services to Retailers Anxious to Avoid Amazon
    Bloomberg

    Microsoft Pushes Cloud Services to Retailers Anxious to Avoid Amazon

    (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. is unveiling new cloud tools designed for retail customers, seeking to position itself as an alternative to Amazon.com Inc. and corporate software companies like Slack Technologies Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc.Microsoft is adding a feature to its Slack rival, the Teams corporate chat program, that lets store workers push a button to turn their mobile phones into walkie-talkies for in-store communications. In a speech on Jan. 12 at a retail industry event, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella plans to discuss how Ikea shifted more than 70,000 workers to Teams, using the service for meetings and chat. The home furnishing giant’s largest store, in Stockholm, also started using a scheduling feature to manage the shifts of 150 restaurant staffers.Ikea is also working with Microsoft to determine if Teams can play a role in its “store of the future” concepts. The Swedish company may put video screens in stores that use Teams to connect customers with kitchen design advisers, said Kenneth Lindegaard, an Ikea vice president. The company plans to have the rest of its 165,000-person workforce on Office 365 cloud software and Teams by the end of spring, although Ikea still has some smaller groups using Slack and Google’s G Suite, he said.  Ikea also uses Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud, he said.The retail industry has been one of Microsoft’s most successful as the software maker tries to gain ground in cloud computing against market leader Amazon Web Services and lure more customers to its internet-based Office products. Some retailers are loath to work with e-commerce rival Amazon. Nadella and Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurian are set to speak next week at the annual show of the National Retail Federation, the biggest retail trade group, underscoring how significant the industry is to Amazon’s biggest cloud competitors.  “A key part of our offering is that we partner and we don’t compete,” said Shelley Bransten, the vice president who oversees Microsoft’s work with retailers and consumer goods companies. But there are other benefits to working closely with retailers, she said in an interview. Some of the software products built for retailers will be useful for companies in other industries.For example, the walkie-talkie feature in Teams can help manufacturers, said Emma Williams, a Microsoft vice president who is charged with adding features to Office and Teams for use by customers in health care, retail, manufacturing and finance. Microsoft explained the new features in a blog post Thursday ahead of Nadella’s speech in New York, the CEO’s first appearance at the retail conference.Retail customers are also key to Microsoft’s competition with Salesforce, the leader in cloud-based customer relations software. Microsoft announced the official release of its Dynamics Commerce software for helping retailers manage inventory, scheduling, call centers, e-commerce sites and in-store operations. The company said outerwear maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc. has been using it. Microsoft also provided new details on how some previously announced Azure customers are working with its products. One year ago, Microsoft said Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. would begin using Azure and deploy Microsoft 365—a collection of software that includes Windows 10, Office cloud services and security and mobile-management software—to the pharmacy giant’s more than 380,000 workers. Now Walgreens will try Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 goggles for worker training and the drugstore chain also is using Microsoft products to anonymously track shoppers’ steps, in order to better plan store layouts. Microsoft is also targeting another lucrative Amazon business — digital advertising for products on retailers’ websites. In August, Microsoft acquired New York-based PromoteIQ, which helps companies like Kroger Co. and Kohl’s Corp. sell ads on their websites to companies who want prime placement for their goods. Nadella will announce Home Depot has also signed up for the service.To contact the author of this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Pollack at apollack1@bloomberg.net, Jillian WardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Everyone Wants a Piece of Enterprise Tech Companies

    (Bloomberg) -- With all eyes this week on the CES trade show in Las Vegas, famous for a mind-boggling array of personal gadgets, it’s worth considering something counterintuitive: Venture capitalists like consumer technology a lot less than they used to.According to PitchBook data compiled for Bloomberg, last year the normal order of funding in venture capital flipped. Enterprise technology companies, which specialize in software or services for businesses—long the dowdiest landing pad for venture dollars—attracted $30.42 billion, PitchBook data shows, about one-third more cash than consumer technology companies.That funding total is growing fast. Enterprise companies’ venture haul for 2019 was almost double the previous year’s. Meanwhile, the cash going to consumer companies fell by almost a quarter between 2018 and 2019, according to PitchBook data, to $23.26 billion.Those numbers mark the first time in at least last five years that pure enterprise companies have raised more money than consumer-facing tech, the data shows. (Though a separate "undetermined" category, where the distinction between enterprise and consumer technology is not as clear, regularly outpaces both.) The switch comes at a time when enterprise companies’ initial public offerings have been warmly received by investors. For example, shares in video communications company Zoom Video Communications Inc. almost doubled after its April initial public offering. And security company Crowdstrike Holdings Inc. is up almost two-thirds following its June debut. Meanwhile, the most hotly anticipated consumer IPOs have underperformed. Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. is down by about a third since its June offering, and in an extreme case, co-working company WeWork’s plan for the public markets dramatically crumbled last fall.But public market reception isn’t the only thing driving investment. The enterprise industry—less saturated by existing industry giants—has become a destination for some of the most talented entrepreneurs, and VCs know it. While corporate software may sound painfully boring, advancements in cloud computing and machine learning mean enterprise companies can give employees creative outlets. Investors liken the new opportunities to those once sparked for consumer startups by the advent of smartphones. In the consumer world, large companies are famous for edging out or buying up threatening upstarts. Either outcome means entrepreneurs in the giants’ crosshairs will never get to lead sizeable independent companies. While some large enterprise companies follow that playbook—SAP SE and Salesforce.com Inc. have cemented reputations as acquisition-hungry—enterprise founders often enjoy more latitude to say no to acquisition offers, with less fear that the bigger company will crush them.Cloud-monitoring business Datadog Inc., for example, turned down a bid from Cisco Systems Inc. just days before its IPO in September. And Slack Technologies Inc. continues to grow even as Microsoft Corp. has spent years pushing Teams, its own answer to office messaging.It helps that cutting-edge enterprise software requires a degree of specialization that can be hard to replicate. And increasingly, enterprise customers are open to working with startups, blunting the reputational advantage big brand-name companies enjoy when they roll out a competing product.For insights into how founders are thinking, consider Oleg Rogynskyy, whose business analytics company, People.ai, is the second enterprise startup he's founded. His career could have gone in a consumer direction if he had pursued the first business he got funding for—a photo feed he started in college in 2007. It could have turned into Instagram, maybe, or it could have gone the way of countless other less lucrative photo-sharing startups (remember Hipstamatic, PicPlz and Path?).Switching to enterprise was a good move, Rogynskyy says now. He believes enterprise companies can more easily grow to $100 million in revenue and reach IPO faster than their consumer counterparts, even if those IPOs might raise less capital. “The outcomes are smaller,” Rogynskyy says, “but the odds are higher.”This article also ran in Bloomberg Technology’s Fully Charged newsletter. Sign up here. And here’s what you need to know in global technology news:Leaked Facebook Executive Memo Grapples With Its Role In U.S. ElectionsThe New York Times obtained a memo written by Andrew Bosworth, the head of virtual and augmented reality at Facebook, mulling the social network's role in the rise of President Trump. As World Leaders Shun TikTok, Impersonators Creep InAs TikTok catches fire among the younger set, world leaders and politicians have kept their distance amid national security concerns about the Chinese-owned app.Bitcoin Goes Ballistic After Breaking Through $8,000 LevelBitcoin climbed to the highest since November after breaching the $8,000 price level.Google Says Over 500 Million People Use Its Assistant MonthlyGoogle said its digital assistant is used by more than 500 million people every month. Depending on your perspective, that’s either a win for Google, or a big miss.To contact the author of this story: Sarah McBride in San Francisco at smcbride24@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at avandermey@bloomberg.net, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Silicon Valley loses some entrepreneurial spirit as venture capitalists favor later-stage deals
    MarketWatch

    Silicon Valley loses some entrepreneurial spirit as venture capitalists favor later-stage deals

    Entrepreneurs have a better chance of receiving seed funding from strangers on Kickstarter than from angel investors or venture capitalists.

  • Barrons.com

    More IPOs Will Be Replaced by Direct Listings. Why That’s a Good Thing for Investors.

    Bypassing the traditional route may become more popular in 2020, and the stock exchanges are trying to help.

  • Barrons.com

    How Facebook and Google Could Gain From Breakups, and 4 Other Tech Calls for 2020

    Moness Crespi Hardt‘s Brian White has a list that includes three FAANG stocks and three mid-cap choices.

  • 3 Reasons Why Slack Stock Can Start Working in 2020
    InvestorPlace

    3 Reasons Why Slack Stock Can Start Working in 2020

    With Slack (NYSE:WORK) having closed yesterday just above $22 per share, SLACK stock is now down nearly 50% from its post-Initial Public Offering high of $42. In just six months, Slack has gone from a promising software-as-a-service (SaaS) growth machine to one of the year's biggest IPO busts.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com And now, folks are lining up to predict further troubles ahead for WORK stock in 2020. It's not hard to see why. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is looking to take the company's market share. When a big tech giant decides to incorporate a small company's whole reason for existence into an existing product, the small company has problems. Additionally, Slack's most recent earnings report included some worrisome signs. Already, it appears, competition is hitting the company badly.That said, Slack is still growing its revenues at a dramatic clip. SLACK stock price has started to level off after months of steady declines. And SaaS stocks, as a category, are heating up again after the fall selloff. With that in mind, let's take a look at the contrarian, bullish case for Slack.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Slack's Revenue Growth Slowdown Isn't As Bad As It LooksArguably the biggest concern about Slack right now is that its revenue growth is rapidly dropping. And that's a fair point. Slack had been posting nearly triple-digit-percentage revenue growth around the time of its IPO. That fell to 60% during the most recently reported quarter. Based on Slack's forward guidance, its revenue growth looks poised to dip to around 40% or so within the next year. That trend can also be confirmed by looking at the number of paid customers, which rose by just 30% year-over-year.However, the company's customer acquisition trends appear to be favorable. Slack has a net revenue retention rate of 134%, which is extremely good, even by software standards. * Which Housing Stocks Are a Buy Now? This means that customers are spending much more on Slack with every passing quarter as users utilize the platform more extensively and purchase additional services. Slack's overall rate of new customer acquisition may continue to drop, but as long as existing customers keep spending more money on the company's services, Slack's operating results will look better and better. Can Slack and Microsoft Co-Exist?Also posing a threat to Slack stock is the closely-related problem that Microsoft Teams is stealing Slack's thunder. Teams already has more daily active users than Slack. As of last month, Microsoft had more than 20 million daily active users, while Slack only has around 12 million. Additionally, a recent CNBC survey of tech leaders found that far more of them use Teams than Slack.That is a clear - and even existential - threat to Slack. However, Slack isn't necessarily toast. CEO Stewart Butterfield took direct aim at the analysts who were suggesting that Teams is killing of Slack. On the company's most recent earnings conference call, Butterfield stated that:Although Microsoft markets Teams (as) a Slack competitor and there's no doubt this causes confusion in the marketplace, in practice these are different tools, used for different purposes and our customers achieve markedly different results. Just look at the weak engagement numbers that Microsoft themselves report and (the) much deeper level of engagement you see among Slack users.The CEO noted that Microsoft is forcing many users to migrate to Slack from older systems, boosting its user numbers. But that doesn't mean that its user engagement levels are strong. Butterfield concedes that Microsoft may even top 50 million Teams users in coming quarters, as more Skype for Business users are forced to use Teams for services such as internet telephony.However, many of these users won't be engaging with Teams like they would with Slack. To that end, it's worth considering that many Microsoft Office users also are paid customers of Slack, suggesting that they can be used together. Slack Doesn't Need to Go It AloneSome analysts have turned to portraying Microsoft and Slack as a David versus Goliath-type battle where Microsoft is the overwhelming favorite. That's not an entirely inaccurate analogy. However, Slack could choose to sell itself.The company would be a great takeover target for several reasons. For one, Slack essentially replaces e-mail for a lot of firms. It's a strong communications tool,and thus is of great interest to leading tech companies that want to stay in constant contact with their users. Additionally, Slack is designed to integrate easily with outside apps and software programs. Slack's prospectus note that:Also unlike email, Slack was designed from the ground up to integrate with external software systems. Slack provides an easy way for users to share and aggregate information from other software, take action on notifications, and advance workflows in a multitude of third-party applications, over 1,500 of which are listed in the Slack App Directory.Given Slack's natural connection with so many other leading tech companies' platforms, it's a natural bolt-on acquisition for a variety of larger tech players. In light of Microsoft's increasingly threatening position atop the cloud universe, Slack would be a nice acquisition target for a challenger. Also, with the increasing value of big data, Slack likely can help large companies that have launched significant R&D efforts in data and AI. The Bottom Line on WORK StockPeople are fed up with the poor results from the unicorn IPOs this year. So much so, in fact, that the SEC is investigating the trading of recent IPOs, centering on the opening day of action. Slack reached its all-time high of $42 per share on its first day of trading and fell to $35 within a week. So, not surprisingly, Slack stock is one of the 2019 IPOs that the SEC is probing.This is just another thing that will likely make investors less upbeat about Slack stock. With so much hatred toward unicorn stocks in general and Slack in particular, however, comes opportunity. It wouldn't take much for traders to start buying WORK stock again.When a stock stops going down despite continuing bad news, that's a notable development. With WORK stock appearing to have a solid technical bottom forming at $20, Slack should climb furtherAt the time of this writing, Ian Bezek held no positions in any of the aforementioned securities. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 6 Transportation Stocks That Are Going Places * 5 Bold Stock Market Predictions for 2020 * 3 Beer Stocks to Own Heading Into New Year 2020 The post 3 Reasons Why Slack Stock Can Start Working in 2020 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • What does the ‘WeWork effect’ mean for IPOs in 2020?
    MarketWatch

    What does the ‘WeWork effect’ mean for IPOs in 2020?

    The public crash and burn of WeWork’s initial public offering and poor early performances from high-priced startups that actually managed to go public in 2019 likely won't stop other “decacorns” from testing the IPO market in 2020, but it may change how they do it.

  • Markets in 2019: record stocks, lower interest rates, so-so IPOs
    MarketWatch

    Markets in 2019: record stocks, lower interest rates, so-so IPOs

    Through it all, the U.S. economy and consumers’ appetite for spending remained resilient, supporting the market’s record-shattering, year-end rally.

  • American City Business Journals

    These new Bay Area stocks from 2019 are 'underwater' as year ends

    One third of this year's Bay Area companies that went public in the past 12 months entered trading on the day after Christmas below their original offering prices.

  • 5 Cheap Stocks Trading Under $20 to Buy for 2020
    Zacks

    5 Cheap Stocks Trading Under $20 to Buy for 2020

    Let's dive into five strong stocks currently trading for under $20 per share we found with our Zacks Stock Screener that investors might want to buy for 2020...

  • Bloomberg

    Masayoshi Son, Tech Visionary or Robber Baron?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- This is the year that brought a $100 billion venture capitalist to his knees. In January, SoftBank Group Corp.’s Masayoshi Son was riding high, writing billion-dollar checks to unicorns from office-sharing startup WeWork to autonomous-delivery vehicle designer Nuro. But as 2019 winds down, the Japanese dealmaker is straining to finance a $9.5 billion bailout package for Adam Neumann’s troubled startup, whose valuation has evaporated from $47 billion to $8 billion — or even zero, depending whom you ask. SoftBank’s bad year goes well beyond WeWork. Investors are starting to get the feeling that whatever Son brings to the public is troubled. And you don’t need to look far for proof: Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc., both backed by the Vision Fund, tumbled upon listing. To venture funds that rely on IPOs for exits and profit, this dark suspicion is a kiss of death. So how did the world fall out of love with Masa Son? Over the past three years, Son has deployed his giant war chest aggressively, threatening to back a startup’s rival if founders refuse his money, or investing in competitors and forcing them to merge. These unsavory tactics only became more bothersome when much-hyped SoftBank-backed IPOs started failing. Now we’re coming to realize that Son is less a technology guru than a die-hard capitalist, reinventing the 19th-century business model by squeezing workers for a bit of extra profit. Take a look at the Vision Fund’s portfolio. Rather than investing in hard tech such as AI or chip design, a whopping 40% has been funneled into transportation and logistics companies such as Uber and its ride-hailing clones around the world. You can be sure that drivers on the streets of Shanghai and Jakarta don’t get insurance or pension benefits; they’re only paid per ride. This contract culture seeps well beyond delivery, too: India’s lodging chain Oyo Hotels and Homes, for instance, is asking mom-and-pop business owners to absorb big fixed costs upfront, a New York Times investigation found. But we are living in the 21st century, when human capital ought be worth something and worker protests have erupted around the world. In China alone, three SoftBank-backed unicorns faced 32 strikes last year. So it’s just a matter of time before governments start to step in, demanding better labor protection. If you buy into Karl Marx’s view that a business’s profit pie is a zero-sum divide between workers and capitalists, Son’s portion will inevitably shrink. Put another way, the path to profitability for many of his unicorns will be long and winding — or may even lead to a dead end. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a capitalist, except that SoftBank’s capital is really debt. As I’ve written throughout the year, the company is junk-rated for a good reason: It’s cash poor. Subsidiaries from Sprint Corp. to British chip designer ARM Holdings Inc. don’t put much on the table, so SoftBank has to live off the cash on hand, borrow even more, or sell its investments to the Vision Fund. At the holding level, Son’s company has already amassed 4.5 trillion yen ($41 billion) of interest-bearing net debt. For now, SoftBank is running like a well-oiled machine. But with the Vision Fund fully deployed, and the second iteration likely a lot smaller, Son may have trouble offloading his startup stakes. To make matters worse, he has folded WeWork under the SoftBank umbrella. Beyond footing the bill for a bailout, SoftBank will need to figure out how to finance the office-leasing company’s $47 billion in lease liabilities. By now, Japanese bankers, who for years revered Son and relied on him for banking fees, are having second thoughts.There’s even a case to be made that Son isn’t a terribly skilled capitalist. By September, his Vision Fund had made $11.4 billion, mostly in paper profit, on $76.3 billion in investments deployed over two years. Tiger Global Management, another active investor in late-stage unicorns, has a much better track record. Hedge funds — passive yet nimble investors — are all about due diligence and may well be savvier than Son, who has a habit of writing eye-popping checks after 10 minutes of face time. If there’s anything Son is unshakably good at, it’s financial engineering. Even after a bailout, WeWork’s debt pile somehow won’t show up on SoftBank’s balance sheet: While the parent will have an 80% stake, it won’t hold a majority of voting rights, the company argued. Another example of such wizardry is SoftBank's investment playbook. If it buys shares in a startup and then puts in more money at a higher valuation, it claims to have made a profit. In the June quarter, it booked $3.8 billion in unrealized gains, partly because of a series of investments in Oyo.Of that $11.4 billion capital gain the Vision Fund has booked, just about $4 billion is realized, and from only two deals — the sales of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart Online Services Pvt to Walmart Inc. and well-timed trades in Nvidia Corp. But then Son has always been quick to writeup and reluctant to writedown. After all, in private markets, fair-value accounting is a rigged game. Going into the next decade, Son will eventually have to show his cards. There are many expensive decacorns in his incubator. From Bytedance Inc. to Didi Chuxing Inc., these unicorns with a $10-billion-plus valuation would easily be considered large caps in public markets. When they do list, we’ll quickly find out if Son is indeed a visionary, or just a mediocre capitalist with “too much money” and a lot of mistakes. (Indian e-commerce company Flipkart was sold to Walmart Inc. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the purchaser was Amazon.com Inc.)To contact the author of this story: Shuli Ren at sren38@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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